A Man in an Ironed Shirt

I thought it would be quaint. A nod to the first generation who lived in my house. Mostly because modern women don’t wash all their family’s clothes then iron them all, before folding or hanging them away. It is a joke among most my friends about how many days we can go before even getting the wash into the dryer. So one day, as another joke, I brought all the clothes up in baskets, sat them on my kitchen floor, opened the hideaway door for my built in 1930’s ironing board, and ironed all their clothes. I cannot even begin to express in words how it made me feel. Maybe two words can do it: pure love. Not for ironing. That is silly. But for my family. As I ironed each piece I imagined my husband or daughters wearing this piece, feeling the freshly pressed material, and then going out into the world. The way each shirt or pair of pants transforms from wrinkly, fluffy, faded into airy, flat, and like-new was surprisingly amazing. It was like the surest way to feel like you are giving love.

I don’t always iron all the clothes anymore, and sometimes, the laundry does pile up. However, when the opportunity for extra care presents itself, I do it. When I was growing up, my brothers and I used to put our clothes out for school the night before, and my dad would iron them on a makeshift ironing board made of a towel on the kitchen counter. I loved waking up to ironed clothes laid on the banister. I can’t believe how many years my dad did that for us kids.

Lately my opinion of my husband has probably surpassed a healthy level of love and respect. It is like I have fallen in love, all over again. I cannot explain it. We didn’t fall out of love, or our love even wane, it has just grown unusually fast suddenly. He went to work today, they called him in early, and so upon missing him, I gathered up his wrinkly shirt and ironed it. Immediately feeling the instant gratification of expressing love. A man in an ironed shirt is a man who cares and is loved. When he leaves the home he represents all I do at home, and having a full belly, an ironed shirt, and a smile on his face is quite possibly the best way I can show him I love him.

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